Aug 11, 2010

Mark 16:16, John 3:36 - John Foreman

A gospel damnation I have never yet been able to understand; I have at no time been brought to fear it from any conviction, or to know anything of such a point as taught by the word of God. And so for any man to be damned to hell for not believing unto salvation, the very idea appears to me to be as silly as it is false and cruel; because it conceals and denies the just cause of sinning man's condemnation, and condemns him to death without real cause; that is, not for disobedient law-breaking, but for not obtaining favor by means that God himself never put in natural man's power. I know it is written, 'He that believeth not, shall be damned,' Mark 16: 16; but the gospel does not bring that condemnation upon the unbeliever; not does the lack of faith, or the non-believing of the gospel unto salvation, create, make, cause, or bring that damnation; but leave the soul under it, as by law for sin, denounced upon every sinner., as death's sentence by law is passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. But as it is the Lord's pleasure to deliver, and save from the wrath, death, curse, and damnation denounced by the law, all on whom he will have mercy, the believing soul through grace, according to the assurances and descriptions of the word of God, is the escaping, saved, and delivered person, from the denounced condemnation; while the unbeliever remains under the death sentence of the law, as though there had been no mercy nor salvation in Christ for any. And so we read, 'He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that beleveth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him, John 3: 36. 'We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother, abideth in death,' 1 John 3: 14. And therefore, the turning of the gospel of the grace of God into a penal ministry, is of the pharisaic spirit of anti-Christ, and of the devil himself in that character. Because, by that notion, both the law and the gospel are robbed of their real, distinct, and respective honors; and the state of sinful man is misrepresented, for that instead of his being shewn up in truth as he is, a divine law breaker, and upon whom, as such, the sentence of death by the law is already passed, and that he is a dead man in law, and must remain so to endless condemnation, but as the Lord, by his grace and mercy, may be pleased to deliver and save him, he is made out to be a gospel sinner only, for not possessing the grace of a gospel-blest character, and because he does not without ever having had the power in his nature to do so, or any promise from the Lord of any such favor, believe unto salvation, whether the Lord has purposed it, and will save him, or not.

Duty-faith Expositions

Free Grace Expositions